Wellington and the Wairarapa Restaurants

In Wellington, restaurants, cafés, and sports bars spring up overnight like mushrooms. Although you'll never be without the classic meal of steak, fries, and ale, city eateries have also embraced more adventurous fare. Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Malaysian, Mexican, and Italian cuisines are increasingly common. Indigenous food, too, is appearing in restaurants around the city—native plants might be paired with traditional seafood or made into sauces to accompany meat or sweet-potato dishes.

In rural areas outside Wellington, the wine industry has revolutionized local tables, with excellent dining and wine-tasting spots. In the Wairarapa, restaurants are winning a reputation for creative cuisine.

Generally, lunch runs from noon until 2, and most restaurants close for a few hours before opening for dinner around 6. On Monday, many restaurants are shuttered. Dress codes are still really relaxed; jeans would be frowned on only in the top restaurants.

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  • 1. Boulcott Street Bistro

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    A well-respected institution on the Wellington dining scene, this old colonial-style house conveys tradition and class. Start with crumbed calamari...Read More

  • 2. Logan Brown

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    Occupying a 1920s bank building with Corinthian columns and a classical dome, Logan Brown is a winner. An aquarium tank is set into the bar...Read More

  • 3. White House

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    Consistently ranked amongst the capital's finest restaurants White House has also gained an international reputation. A combination of creativity...Read More

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